I’m Back!

posted by Andrea | 08/1/2012

I’m back from my 2-week blogging break… and I’m honestly ready to be back again.

Did you miss me? 

I hope you’re ready for lots of new organizing ideas, lots of slow cooker recipes, lots of kitchen renovation stories, and LOTS of cute Nora pictures, because I’m ready to start blogging again… but first, I want to share a few pictures from my sister’s wedding a couple weeks ago.

Her photographer {MarahGrant.com} did a fabulous job.

You’d never guess it was raining through most of these pictures, would you?

OK, back to my fabulous blogging break.

It was just that… fabulous. And I’m definitely planning to take another one next summer, if not before!

Although the two weeks went by so quickly, the change of pace was refreshing; and the lack of a work schedule was just what I needed.

I’m so thankful for all the positive feedback I got when I announced my two-week break — from family, friends, readers, and even from other bloggers.

And yes, Nora was happy I took a break too :)

So what did I do during my break?

To be perfectly honest… I didn’t do a whole lot {which, I suppose, is the point of a break}

I slept in every day — well, Dave and I took turns sleeping in — but it was still fabulous. We went swimming almost every day, went for walks when it wasn’t too hot, watched a bunch of Olympics, ate a healthy amount of ice-cream, and took lots of pictures.

I even took a couple naps with Nora {she forced me to!}

We did do quite a bit of behind-the-scenes work on our kitchen, but it all had to be done.

We finalized our cabinet design and ordered the cabinets. We purchased all our appliances, ordered our farmhouse sink, ordered the windows, and scheduled the arrival of the wood flooring. I’m also in the process of designing a replica antique pie safe that my uncle will build for a corner of the kitchen.

I’m planning to talk more about our kitchen {and show pictures} next week, but within the next few weeks, we SHOULD be finished with the electrical, windows, drywall, and flooring. Then the cabinets and appliances arrive in 3 weeks. So we’re hopefully still on-track to wrap up our renovations by Labor Day weekend.

Of course there will still be tons of loose ends to tie up throughout the fall, but our kitchen should be usable by the beginning of the school year {praise the Lord!}, and it should be fully functional in plenty of time for holiday baking.

Is it crazy that I’m already thinking about the holidays?

 

I’ll also admit to working {somewhat feverishly} to get back up-to-date on my digital photo albums.

I’ve been using Blurb.com for several years now to create all my digital photos albums — and yes, I still LOVE it!

Two years ago, I finished organizing and scanning all of Dave’s and my photos from birth through 2010 into 4 albums. Then, these past two weeks, I spent several hours creating a 5th book for 2011-2012. Of course, I won’t be ready to print it until the end of 2012, but I think I took more pictures in the last 12-18 months than I did in the 10 years prior!

It feels so great to be all caught up again, and my plan from here on out is to update the book at the end of every month. Then, after I print this book, I’ll create one new book every year.

Besides the kitchen stuff, my photo book was the ONE thing I wanted to accomplish during my break, so I’m thrilled {yeah, I think I always have to have a project!}

Thanks so much for hanging in there with me while I took a little break…

I’m excited to be back!

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35 comments

  1. Jodi Schaap

    08/01/2012

    yay! Can’t wait to read all about the break ;)

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  2. Jodi Schaap

    08/01/2012

    And by that, I mean – about all the things you outlined here. Welcome back!

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  3. Mary

    08/01/2012

    Andrea, so happy you were able to take a break. I told you that Blurb was a great site to do your books. I am also up to date for 2012 and now going back in history. As you know I need to go back a lot futher than you do. Your blog is so inspiring keep up the good work. Norah is beautiful and I can’t believe how quickly she is growing.

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  4. Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles

    08/01/2012

    Welcome back! And AWESOME for you to take 2 weeks off!! Wow, so much stuff in this post. Great photos from the wedding – love the shot of you, Dave, & Nora at the wedding. Can’t wait to see kitchen photos. And I love how you’ve taken hold of all those old photos – that is quite an undertaking!

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  5. Helen C.

    08/01/2012

    Welcome back! I’m glad you feel rejuvenated after your break, vacations and time off are so important. I look forward to read your new posts and going back to read previous ones, you are very motivating!

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  6. Jen

    08/01/2012

    Glad you’re back, and glad you got to relax!

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  7. Susan

    08/01/2012

    I know that one thing you did on your break was enjoy a dinner at Red Lobster… hoping that savvy you had the $10 off coupon. I know you were there because I work there. :) I resisted the urge to attack you like a crazy person. Was thinking it might be creepy to have strangers come up to you and tell you they know all about your life? I don’t know. Anyway… hope your dinner and service were great!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Hey Susan,
    Yes, we did go to Red Lobster — and you better believe we used that coupon! We paired the coupon with the $14.99 meal deals for extra savings :) We did have great service… but you really should have said hi, I wouldn’t have been creeped out!

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  8. Melissa

    08/01/2012

    I think it’s important to take a break every now and then. I think it’s more difficult for people who operate their own businesses to schedule that in. My parents owned their own business and it seemed all too easy to let it consume a ton of their time. Glad you enjoyed your time off from blogging!

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  9. Rita

    08/01/2012

    Now my morning coffee will be complete. Glad you took a break. Looking forward to your insights in the coming weeks.

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  10. Donna G

    08/01/2012

    I’m glad you enjoyed your break, and REALLY glad you’re back! I missed you and your positive outlook, not to mention the updates on Nora. I might not say much, but I am a faithful follower.

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  11. Theresa

    08/01/2012

    Welcome back!
    My 30 by 30 list includes organizing pictures, and recipes. I am definately going to check out Blurb.com. Thank you for the pointer (and all of your orginizational tips for that matter). I hope you enjoy the rest of our beautiful MI summer!

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  12. Linda M

    08/01/2012

    Glad you are back…missed you and your neat tips. Thankful that you had a good and refreshing break…good to recognize when you need it. You have a beautiful family. Looking forward to your upcoming posts. Thanks for the blog…it is great!

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  13. Michelle

    08/01/2012

    I missed you! Glad you’re back and hope you Enjoyed the time away.

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  14. JoAnn C.

    08/01/2012

    I’m so glad you’re back. You sound happy, excited and well rested. I missed you but was glad you stepped away for some time to yourself. We all deserve a break thanks for reminding me.

    [Reply]

  15. Abbie

    08/01/2012

    So glad you’re back. Missed you (and those sweet pictures of Nora)!

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  16. Doreen

    08/01/2012

    Welcome back and the wedding pictures are lovely! You all look so pretty! Love the dress colors too. Glad you had a well deserved break.

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  17. Jen

    08/01/2012

    Glad you had a great vaca, the pics are beautiful! And yeah, Nora Napped!

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  18. Laurie

    08/01/2012

    Welcome back!
    I’ve only been a reader for a couple of months but I have really enjoyed your site.

    I was on your blog a lot while you were gone looking at recipes and reading. Tonight is slow cooker western egg casserole night.

    Thanks for working so hard!

    [Reply]

  19. Ann

    08/01/2012

    Yay!! So glad you had a good break! BUT, that said, I did miss your blog ALOT!!

    [Reply]

  20. Lynn Oyama

    08/01/2012

    Welcome back! I sure missed your blog, but I am so glad you had a break too! Happy blogging to you and happy reading to me! :)

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  21. Beth

    08/01/2012

    I’m so happy you were able to enjoy your break and that you are back feeling refreshed. I definitely missed your posts but everyone deserves a break sometimes and now that you’re back, I can’t wait to hear all about it!

    [Reply]

  22. Donna E

    08/01/2012

    Welcome back! Glad you enjoyed the break.Missed your posts. Your sister’s wedding photographs are beautiful. One of our sons is a teacher and he got several things on his list done this summer too. They are expecting their first child in September and it’s a boy and our 4th grandchild. Can’t wait! Love the pictures of Nora. She is such a cutie.

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  23. Evelyn

    08/01/2012

    Welcome back! I definitely missed your posts. So glad you’re refreshed!

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  24. Kimberley

    08/02/2012

    Glad you had a great time off! Time flies by waaayyy too quickly, especially after having kids!!! Super excited you are back and have new recipes to share!

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  25. Zolane

    08/02/2012

    I missed reading your posts but I’m so happy you were able to take some time to relax and enjoy your time away.

    Welcome back!

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  26. Leslie

    08/02/2012

    You and your sisters — and Nora — are beautiful! What wonderful family pictures!

    I am so glad that you enjoyed your break, and feel refreshed…Good investment!

    [Reply]

  27. Stacy

    08/02/2012

    Hello,
    I love your blog and have been a reader for awhile. I love how you scanned all your pics and Dave’s pics and the pics of you together to make a book. I have a silly question, because I think it’s a great idea, but then what do you do with the original pictures?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Stacy… not a silly question. I actually did purge most of the hard copies (which I realize might be shocking to some). I gave all my baby pictures back to my mom, and I kept a handful of my FAVORITES, but I pitched the rest.

    I figured that I already have the photos in my albums, plus the albums are saved online (so I can reprint them any time), PLUS all my pictures are saved digitally by month/year on a portable hard drive in our fire-proof safe. I also have all the pictures from the last few years on Flickr — so I can access and re-print any of my pictures at a moment’s notice.

    Hope this helps!

    [Reply]

  28. hyoori

    08/03/2012

    welcome back, Andrea!

    [Reply]

  29. Jill

    08/05/2012

    Are those books in hard cover?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, they are hardcover… but you can get softcover too. I always order the 8.5″ x 11″ hardcover because they look nice on our shelves and are very durable!

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  30. Angela Hidlebaugh

    08/05/2012

    welcome back, Andrea!!

    I have a question about how you arrange the inside of your albums. Are there just pictures, pictures with names and dates, any journaling (like memories, family stories…that sort of thing)??? Thanks for sharing how you handle your scrapbooking. It’s nice to have new ideas to organize and streamline the photo preservation.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Hey Angela,
    I don’t really have a set way that I do it, but with Blurb, you can choose from tons of different layouts (or create your own layout). I don’t usually include a lot of text — more just “headings” and dates… but you can include as much text as you want.

    Right now, I just divide up the book by month and put as many pictures in as I can!

    [Reply]

  31. Jean

    08/09/2012

    Welcome Back !!

    I love your sister’s wedding colors ! So pretty !

    Nora looks so adorable, thanks for sharing your daughter’s pictures with us. It takes me back to the days when my daughters were that age (now 14 and 12). The pic where she is sleeping you can almost see the pool of drool because she is sleeping so soundly ! ~*sweet*~

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